Let's Grow Food For The Hungry

Published 2:44 pm Thursday, March 21, 2013

Editor, The Herald:

The reason I'm writing is because I came across an old article I saved from Guideposts-June, 2008. This article has a lot of potential for the Heart of Virginia area.

The Bernstein family outside Baltimore was growing vegetables on their quarter acre garden. When crops came in, they set up a large table at the roadside so the children could sell their surplus. The table was groaning with such a load, yet by nightfall the children had only made a dent in selling.

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So off to the “Our Daily Bread,” a Catholic homeless mission went Mr. B with his truckload of fresh produce. Well, a cook answered the knock, took a shine at all the boxes of much-needed fresh food and exclaimed, “Our guests will love these!”

Needless to say, that was just the beginning of a big endeavor. Mr. B and his wife talked. They took their savings and bought a 42-acre farm. Mr. B. found out his mentor was director of the Maryland Food Bank and also introduced Mr. B to the Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network. The Bernstein family joined a new church with pastor and members open to light farming, and on and on.

Unbelievable as it may seem, the Bernstein's went from planting just two acres to four, then eight. Back in 2008 their “First Fruits Farm” celebrated five years as a non-profit.

I am aware that some gardeners everywhere share their produce with friends, family, neighbors and even strangers. That's great, but we need to help the greater numbers in our difficult times.

What about the surrounding counties around our great Farmville area joining hands, growing food here and there to help a need? Couldn't the food banks, “FACES,” “Daily Bread,” Burkeville, Keysville area, Victoria, Rice, Appomattox benefit?

It would take some organization and coordination – we wouldn't want all produce in tomatoes! Some churches, high schools, college students, retired folks would help with picking at harvest, transporting food to given areas, or a building. We certainly could do this to help our fellow man. Many people/families would be so thankful to receive such help. There are people who can't donate money to “FACES” or “Daily Bread” but could do their part and donate a half a day a week in labor or a day a week or one day a month. The self-satisfaction, even great joy, when you help someone else in there inside you.

This undertaking would require people who have a few or more acres to be willing to grow a fourth, or a half, or one acre, or whatever size garden. Put all that land together and we'd have a great example for our state.

A few trees could be added such as two apples trees, two fig trees, peaches, plums, or even a road of asparagus. It's not hard to add two trees beside your garden.

What do you think central or Heart of Virginia? Let's live up to our name and call it, “Food From the Heart!” Do we have volunteers? Mr. JKW, the editor, has my phone number.

Vincentine Morin